Patricia Lousada, née McBride, was born in New York City and grew up in the nearby suburb of Bronxville. At age 10, she began attending classes at the School of American Ballet, where George Balanchine was among her teachers, and received a scholarship to continue. She was invited to join New York City Ballet (then known as Ballet Society), at its founding in 1946. There she performed under the name Pat McBride in many now classic ballets by Balanchine. She also danced in early Merce Cunningham works. She left NYCB in 1951 to marry Carmen Capalbo, a theater director and producer, with whom she had two children. The couple divorced after a few years and she became a representative for photographers such as Gordon Parks and Henri Cartier-Bresson. In 1961, she remarried to Anthony Lousada, a British lawyer with whom she lived in London and had two more children. She took classes at the Cordon Bleu Institute and La Varenne cooking schools, and wrote her own cookbook, Pasta Italian Style, published by Sainsbury's in 1981. It was a bestseller, and she went on to write a dozen more popular cookbooks introducing British readers to American recipes and advice on dinner parties.